South Sudan Inaugurates The First State Council

The first South Sudan State Council charged with powers of enacting laws which interest to the ten States, was inaugurated yesterday at the South Sudan National Assembly in Juba, as part of the implementation of the provisions in the South Sudan Transitional Constitution.

South Sudan Inaugurates The First State Council
Appointed honourable MPs of the State Council taking oath at parliament [©Gurtong]

By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 6th August 2011 [Gurtong] – The first South Sudan State Council charged with powers of enacting laws which interest to the ten States, was inaugurated yesterday at the South Sudan National Assembly in Juba, as part of the implementation of the provisions in the South Sudan Transitional Constitution.

Following a joint meeting addressed by President Kiir between the members of the SPLM Political Bureau and the Council of the States SPLM Caucus held on the evening of Thursday 4th August, 2011 at the Conference Hall, Presidential Guest House in Juba; President Kiir congratulated all members of the newly established Council of States for the new post and urged them to work as one body in serving the new nation of South Sudan, by sticking to the functions and responsibilities assigned to them.

President Kiir said the house is having a lot of challenges for it starts with no infrastructure and references. Nonetheless, he said that the government will support it adequately to enable it to stand.

The President called on the Council of States members to elect its Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Chief Whip in its first sitting yesterday Friday 5th August, 2011. President Kiir urged the Council of the States members to work hard in order to discourage the culture of idleness among the youth and contribute effectively in implementing the vision of taking towns to the villages. He reiterated that the new Government of the Republic of South Sudan will be formed based on ability and qualifications; not tribal representations.

Composed of 50 members, 45 from the ruling party, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, (SPLM) and five from the opposition parties, the State Council has been established under decrees passed by President, Salva Kiir Mayaridt on 1st August. 

On his part, the Speaker of National Legislative Assembly Rt Hon. James Wani Igga highlighted the most important functions and responsibilities of the Council of the States as hereunder:

To enact the laws which interest to the States; To supervise the national reconstruction projects and programs being carried out by national institutions in the States; To monitor the implementation of the decentralized systems by the institutions in the States; To ensure communal harmony among the people in the States; To approve changes in the States names or capital of States names, and to resolve boundary disputes between the states; and To carry out any function stipulated in the constitution.

Hon. Elioba Surur who is described by many South Sudanese veterans as “the solid rock,” was appointed as the Chairperson of the Council.

“If you can honestly work hard for the sake of building this nation, then you and I will have done what God has wanted us to do,” Surur said in his first speech as the chair as he assured the House of his leadership skills and commitment. 

Hon. Joseph Bol Chan was nominated as the Speaker of the Council. Bol pointed out that, curbing corruption, reinforcing transparency and reconciliation amongst tribes in the various ten States will be some of the key issues the Council will tackle.

“The Council has the duty to legislate and cater for the interests of the States whether in budgetary arrangements or creating good harmony between our people in the States. It is also charged with the responsibility of conflict resolution,” Bol explained to Gurtong in an exclusive interview over the role of the Council, while adding that, “it has the powers to summon Governors.”

However, members of the opposition in the South Sudan National Assembly, (SSNA) have opposed the establishment of the Council, saying it is non-cost effective to the economy of the youngest nation in Africa.
 
Additional information:
Presidential Press Unit
RSS/Juba

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